HAMILTON - Grammy-nominated songwriter and music industry veteran Steven Dale Jones performed songs from his new solely written and composed Extended Play record (EP), “Music & Lyrics,” at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village, New York City on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018.
While Jones said this was not his first time at The Bitter End, he has enjoyed each time he has been able to perform there.
“It’s the legendary singer - songwriter club in New York,” said Jones.
“The Blue Bird in Nashville was made to be like a copy of The Bitter End. It’s the original.”
All kinds of big-name artists have performed at the club, including Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Lady Gaga and Paul Simon.
“You don’t go in there and perform a song you didn’t write,” said Jones.
Jones released his newest EP record in early August, this is the first time songs from the EP will be played for the public.
Other recent developments for Jones include several collaborations with country singers.
Jones, Justin Ebach and Jordan Davis co-wrote a song titled “Singles You Up,” which was a Number 1 Hit on the Country Music Charts this year.
Jones also co-wrote a song which was recorded by artist Brett Young and that album sold more than 1 million copies.
Jones can’t exactly count the number of songs he has written in his lifetime, but he estimates that he writes around 100 each year.
“You just got to go to work and write. There are stories in everyday life that inspire songwriting,” said Jones.
Of those 100 songs, Jones said there are always eight to 10 that really stand out to him each year.
Those stand-out songs sometimes are more meaningful to Jones. He described them as being often more personally connected.
“Some of those songs are just the truth, and they’re generally about things that are worthy of a song,” he said. “I want to communicate something that matters and means something to someone’s life.”
His career has allowed him to collaborate with and write songs for some of the most famous names in music today, including Diamond Rio, Reba McEntire, George Strait, John Legend, Alabama and Trace Adkins.
When asked about his favorite collaboration throughout the years, Jones said that although “One More Day,” recorded by Diamond Rio, was his biggest hit, he has always also loved a song he wrote called Every Other Friday at 5. That song was recorded by country artist Trace Adkins in 1999.
“As far as the song, the recording and the treatment of the song, that would probably be my favorite,” he said.
Jones said he spends a lot of his time these days collaborating with young, up-and-coming artists.
“I spend a lot of time working with young artists who are working on their first album or trying to get a record deal,” said Jones.
Jones also continues to write solely composed songs and works with other veteran songwriters.
The son of Corinne Jones and the late Austin Jones, Jones was born and raised in Hamilton, graduating from Hamilton High School in 1975.
With a sister, Sheilah Wiginton, and his 90-year-old mother still living in Hamilton, and children scattered all over the globe, Jones said there’s still nothing compared to visiting the streets he was raised on.
In fact, one of his new songs, “Find Your Way Back,” expresses his sentimental feelings about the “little dot on the map” he grew up in.
The song expresses Jones’ feelings for “the land of cotton” and how Hamilton holds a special place in his heart.
He and his wife Janet live in Nashville. The couple has five children together--Tyler, a filmmaker in Birmingham, Chandler, a singer-songwriter in Nashville, Tenn., Jackie, enrolled at the University of London, in the United Kingdom, Jessie, attending college in Michigan and Dylan, in middle school in Nashville, Tenn.
For a number of years, Jones produced his music in Muscle Shoals, but he eventually relocated to Music City, Nashville, Tenn., where he has produced his music for over 20 years now.
Jones has been in the music industry full-time for more than 25 years.
“Everyday, it’s always the same. It’s a blank piece of paper,” said Jones. “I am blessed everyday to go to work and write.”
See complete story in the Journal Record.